Bookstore Buys: St. Mark’s Bookshop

Since even an Internet Marketer needs his brick-and-mortar fix, I’ll be profiling my favorite independent bookstores around New York and what I bought there. First up: the great St. Mark’s Bookshop.

St. Mark’s has always had a perfect curatorial eye, which you can glean even from a quick walk by the arrangement of books in their window displays. The occasion for this trip was my search for Jacques, a new high-end erotic magazine. After reading this Pipeline article, I was searching for a subtle blend of airbrush-free photography and some intelligent discourse. If you know me at all, you know how much I love Monocle; I was hoping for something similar, avec boobs (as the French say). Not so much, alas. I won’t be buying issue #3.

But, as always, my initial bookstore purchase just begat another. I had the pleasure of meeting Ben Marcus at the Creative Capital Artist Retreat, and he had recommended Brian Evenson. St. Mark’s had a respectable stock of the novelist’s titles; I bought Dark Property. So far the book reads like a cross between J.G. Ballard and The Road.

If you haven’t been to St. Mark’s yet, do yourself a favor. This is the bookstore that featured midnight parties for Pynchon’s two most recent novels, if that helps give it any street cred. And if you’re not a New Yorker, then I recommend checking out their website. They’ve made the essential step for any indie bookstore: taking on Amazon with their own ecommerce. Hear hear! If I had one criticism, it would have to be about the staff. I’ve been a loyal customer for a few years now, and I’ve never found any of the employees that friendly or helpful. (The award for friendliest booksellers in Manhattan goes to McNally Jackson.)

St. Mark’s Bookshop
31 3rd Ave
New York, NY
(212) 260-7853

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